Exodus 20:1-3,17 – “Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 ” I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 ” You shall have no other gods before Me…17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” NASU
I am not addressing the statement of our LORD in Matthew 20:16, “…the last shall be first, and the first last.” Rather I am speaking specifically about the Ten Commandments (not suggestions) and addressing the First and the Last of those edicts.
I believe that it is a valid and true statement that “if you begin wrong you will, in all likelihood end wrong.” If you begin with a wrong premise you will arrive at a wrong conclusion. In today’s world, there are those who no longer accept the directive of the First of the Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” They reject the truth revealed in Genesis 1:1 that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. They reject that Jesus came to earth born of a virgin, live a sinless life, died on the Cross, arose from the dead, and is now ascended to the Right Hand of the Father. They come to various conclusions as to the origin of man, the eternal state of man, and the requirements for acceptance into the Family of God and gaining entrance into heaven. They begin wrong and reach wrong conclusions to their own hurt and many times their influence hinders others. That is a place of danger for Jesus said, that if we confess him before men, He will confess us before the Father, but if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father.
The First Commandment addresses God as the Only True and Living God and He demands that we elevate nothing before Him. Adam and Eve elevated their own will and desire before God by accepting the LIE offered by the serpent in the Garden and DISOBEYED the directive of God. Their action could be described as voting God out of office and replacing Him with self. They removed God as the center of their universe and installed self in that lofty position. They became their own god and in so doing they lost fellowship with God and lost the Paradise of Eden which God had prepared for them. They began the process of death and brought death both natural and spiritual to the human race. They violated the First Commandment long before that Commandment was written on Tablets of Stone for Moses and Israel. It was a truth embedded in Who God is and predated the Tablets of Stone in the Wilderness. That Commandment and Truth did not suddenly originate in the Desert it originated in the heart of God before time began and it will continue when the Earth is no more. That is the heart of what Jesus was saying in Matthew 6:33, “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” If God is sought first and foremost and we maintain our recognition of His Divine Sovereignty as Creator and the Only True and Living God, we will keep ourselves from erring from the path of godliness. We may stumble but we will not fall prey to the enemy of our souls. We may fail but we will not become failures. We may sin, but we will not return to being sinners, practicing a lifestyle of sin.
The Last Commandment is addressed in Exodus 20:17 in the word is COVET or COVETOUSNESS. The commandment expresses the Heart of God that He is our source, supply, provision, and satisfaction. No wonder the apostle Paul could declare in Philippians 4:11-13 that he had learned CONTENTMENT in whatever state he found himself. WHY could he be content in need as well as in supply? WHY could he be content in peace as well as in the time of trial? BECAUSE, God was His Satisfaction, therefore, he had no need to envy, lust after, or covet what another had or was enjoying. He knew whom he believed and was completely confident that GOD would never fail or forsake. He knew that “in Christ” he was more than a conqueror and that he could do all things through Christ Jesus. The heart of God is that we TRUST Him completely, RELY on Him totally, and REST in Him fully. If we have GOD, we have need of nothing else. Jesus told us in Luke 12:32 that we are not to FEAR because we can rest in the confidence and assurance that it is our heavenly Father’s GOOD PLEASURE (desire and willingness) to give us the Kingdom. David said, in Psalm 37:25 that he was once young and now he had reached agedness, and, in that time, he had NEVER seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging for bread. What was the message? GOD NEVER FAILS and GOD SUPPLIES, therefore we do not need to be envious of the wicked and have no reason to lust after, long for, or covet that which another has because we have GOD!
Therefore, if you have the First Commandment as your foundational cornerstone and you make the Last Commandment the covering of your life you will be as those in Hebrews 11 able to Live in Faith, looking for that City whose builder and maker is God. You will find that no matter your need God is your supply and when you have God you need never long for that which is in the hands of another. You are Blessed beyond measure and His Grace is Sufficient.
I hope that this inspires you to focus on God and refuse to allow your situation, need, or apparent lack cause you to turn from God or look longingly at that which belongs to another. God is honored by your CONFIDENCE in Him and He will provide all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!